Postcolonial Narratives: Discourse and Epistemological Spaces

Lisa Cary, Kagendo Mutua Mutua


By bringing together critical discourse analysis of personal narratives and postcolonial theory, this work addresses other ways of knowing in the academy and provides different lenses of discourse analysis. Specifically, this paper presents two narratives from international faculty in the U.S. academy. Drawing upon work by Phillion (2002) and He (2002), we use our narratives to enter into a discussion of how we have attempted to successfully negotiate the academy and also attempt to maintain our own postcolonial identities. To this end, we also used the lens of postcolonial theory to analyze our narratives and frame our discussions. We explore the im/possible spaces that our deterritorialized consciousness' inhabit and roam by revealing the epistemological spaces discursively produced within/against the U.S. academy (Fairclough, 1995; Foucault, 1977). Further, we explore how our intellectual neo-nomadism allows us to be simultaneously aware of, yet free from boundaries, whilst remaining conscious of the "ideological aggressivity" (MacCannell, 1994) of knowledge production for the U.S. academy. In conclusion, we suggest that the field might benefit from 'hearing' such narratives, complicated by an added layer of theory, to increase the understanding of the study of discourse and the academy.

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